As the New Orleans Saints prepare for Monday's game with Ian Book potentially starting at quarterback, the organization reportedly made overtures to two recently retired legends as potential options.
Per Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Saints officials reached out to Drew Brees and Philip Rivers about signing an emergency contract for their game against the Miami Dolphins.
The Saints announced on Thursday that nine players, including Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill, have been placed on the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list.
ESPN's Mike Triplett reported on Friday that Blake Bortles signed with New Orleans to give the team a backup option.
Duncan did note that the team's overtures to Brees and Rivers "should not be seen as an indictment" of Book, but rather because "he has never taken a snap in an official NFL game, and Miami features one of the most aggressive, high-pressure defenses in the league."
Despite announcing his retirement from the NFL in January, Rivers told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times in August that he was "going to stay ready" in case an opportunity to play came up.
"I want to make sure I’m very clear: I’m not predicting I will play in December, or January, for that matter," Rivers said. "One, you’ve got to have somebody who wants you, and two, it’s got to be right. But I have not completely ruled that out."
Brees previously shot down the idea of returning to the Saints after Jameis Winston tore his ACL in Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"I'll be there Saturday to call the Notre Dame-Navy game, and I'll be here Sunday," Brees told Mike Tirico during NBC's coverage of the Dallas Cowboys-Minnesota Vikings game on Oct. 31 (h/t Patrick Magee of NOLA.com).
Book has yet to appear in a game for the Saints this season. He was a fourth-round draft pick (No. 133 overall) out of Notre Dame in the 2021 NFL draft.
New Orleans is entering Week 16 with a 7-7 record. It is tied with the Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles for the final playoff spot in the NFC, but both teams hold the tiebreaker over New Orleans.